For all the glamour associated with entrepreneurship which is the latest buzzword for the young smartphone generation kids out to be the next Jobs before they can find a real job – here is some reality check for you.
This is not meant to discourage you. After all, I did not give up, why should you ? But you need a lot of determination and grit to stick it out. In fact, I am here sharing my journey, so that you know the pains an entrepreneur has to go through and why is it worth in the end.
I have no doubt that there are entrepreneurs who are currently working on some great ideas to change the world and I am here to wish them success – but the truth is vast majority are going to struggle and if you are prepared for the long grind, I welcome you on board – by all means go for it.
One must understand that entrepreneurship is a marathon.
By now, you would have read a lot of inspirational quotes from Richard Branson and Steve Jobs and every successful entrepreneur from all corners of the world.
When you get into your own, you would also realize that even if you followed a step by step guide of starting and running a successful business written by Richard Branson or Steve Jobs, you are not going to succeed.
It will take a lot more than just having an innovative business models on paper. What will matter is execution.
Few entrepreneurship articles may also suggest that you test your idea while you are at a job and then go full time when you are confident. While you are working for someone else, if the only free time you are getting is weekend – then you will prefer to relax with family. The part-time thing rarely works out. It also depends on what are you getting into. Most start-ups will require your full time effort. Sometimes, even 80 hours a week isn’t enough.
The days where you build a website and your customer’s will come in droves, visits your website and buy your products is long gone. The early days of internet, when we had very few players who jumped into the entrepreneurship band wagon had much less competition than what we have today. Those days are not going to come back, unfortunately.
Considering the low barriers to entry in e-commerce space, you shouldn’t be surprised if your friend’s dog is also working on the same business idea as you.
Media has always glorified successful start up founder and rarely any spotlight on failed ventures and the aftermath of a failed business for an entrepreneur.
While you struggle building a new business, you will also get feeds of your friends who are currently on a holiday in Europe to add salt to your injury.
There will be times for the most confident of entrepreneurs who will ask themselves this question ‘Why the hell did I get into this?’. Your relationships, family and friends will suffer. There won’t be any such thing as family time.
Depression is not openly talked about because entrepreneurs are supposed to project the image of being strong individuals to the society. The reality is depression is real and a serious problem because most founders will be isolated at least during the start up phase. You will be surprised to know that many who encouraged you to start a business will now distance themselves when they see you struggling.
The irony for most people who quit their jobs because of a bad boss is they will start believing that having such a bad boss is much more tolerable than starting up a new business from scratch.
However, let’s look at the positive.
I write from my own experience. Despite all the struggles, depression and all and after 17 years of corporate life – there is nothing more enriching and learning experience than starting a business.
You get to learn what you never thought of and get to meet people you did not know existed.
If I am successful in my venture, I would hire failed entrepreneurs instead of M.B.A.’s, because I believe failed entrepreneurs would have learnt the most important trait a human must possess to be successful – humility.
What would life be without a little bit of suffering and struggle. If you succeed, it will be the most satisfying experience ever.
If you fail – you are still successful as you are better than those who never tried.
Remember – Failure is the new success.
Never give up.